Alexis de Tocqueville (1805–1859) was a French aristocrat and one of America’s very best friends, the special, rare kind that tells you the truth. His Democracy in America is quoted often for support, but less often sought for advice. Here are a few points in his great book, often neglected, from which we can learn. (An anniversary is a time to celebrate, but any time is a good time to learn.)
The meaning of democracy. Many readers today wonder how Tocqueville could speak of “democracy” in 1835, when women had no vote and blacks were enslaved. Tocqueville specifies “equality of conditions” …
Something to Consider
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